George Washington; known throughout the world as the American hero who was the only presidential candidate unanimously voted to office. The picture we have of him today is of a truly noble man who, even as a child, could not tell a lie. But you can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs, which means Washington surely must have done something wrong in his rise to glory, but it’s not as if he could have caused the rise of Hitler is it?
The Seven Years War
The Seven Years war AKA The First True World War AKA “The most expensive war of all time” was the turning point in the histories of both North America and Europe. Back in 1754 North America was a very different land. As well as the extensive Native American held lands the two major territories were the French and British colonies. By 1754 France had grown tired of having to share another continent with Britain and began exerting military pressure on British colonies. Into this affair steps a young Lieutenant Colonel in the British Army called George Washington who, before expelling the King’s Army from America used to work for them. Historians can only guess how awkward Washington was when he bumped into his former colleagues at dinner parties.
“So um, how have you lot been?”
The Seven Years war ended with Britain all but destroying the power of France in America but at great expense. The cost of the war had been so immense that in the years that followed Britain’s economy didn’t take a graceful swan dive so much as plummeted towards the fiery depths of hell itself, which in turn led to a higher taxation of the American Colonies which would ignite the Boston Tea Party in 1775.
“And then you put the tea in some water. I MEANT IN A CUP!”
When George met Joseph
Despite their increase in forces the French were still not 100% sold on the idea of a full blown war because, well they were French. In an effort at diplomacy they despatched a band of around 30 soldiers led by Joseph Coulon de Jomville, who would act as the finely monikered representative of France in talks with the British. Exactly what de Jomville would have discussed and how it would perhaps prevent the war will sadly never be known thanks to Mr. Dollar Bill himself who ambushed the unit and captured de Jomville (not single handedly). Washington did, in fairness, treat his captive as a prisoner of war but unfortunately his inability to understand French meant he was not aware of his new guests’ diplomatic status. This alone would not cause a war, perhaps a few hilarious anecdotes about the mix up when de Jomville returned to whatever the 18th century French equivalent of a water cooler was, but certainly not a major conflict. However, during the conversation an Iroquoian Chief by the name of Tanaghrisson, who was attached to Washington’s squad, quite suddenly and without warning slammed a Tomahawk into de Jomville’s head. The French were, somewhat understandably, upset by the removal of their man’s brains and set out to capture the villainous swine responsible.
“It was him.”
But even this didn’t start the war. The final straw was, again, due to Washington’s lack of French lessons as a youth. While captured poor old George was told to sign a document. Not being able to understand a word of what it said and surrounded by angry soldiers with garlic breath he promptly did as he was told and inadvertently confessed to killing de Jomville. Wheteher the confession covered his unlikely use as a Tomahawk is unclear, but it was after this that the shit hit the fan on an industrial scale. The confession was a nightmare for Britain diplomatically and the army was called upon to defeat the French in time-honoured fashion.
The Legacy of the Seven Years War
But what, you may ask, does this have to do with the Second World War? Following the Seven Years War Britain had to raise taxes in America which of course led to the American Revolution. That part is clear and it’s no shameful thing to be instrumental in the start of a revolution you then proceed to win, but it’s the consequences of the Revolution that would make George really blush, were he not dead of course. The American Revolution was a notorious leading cause of the French Revolution which famously left an empty seat that was filled by Napoleon. Monsieur Bonaparte was to become a complete pain in the arse for the rest of Europe and his rampages led to the network of treaties that were responsible for the advent of the First World War; and as everybody with a History GCSE will be able to tell you the First World War and the subsequent Treaty of Versailles were the cause of (altogether now) World War II. So thanks George, all that time you saved by not learning French was totally worth it. No wonder he looks so shifty on the Dollar Bill.
“And I would have gotten away with it too. Damn you sickchirpse.com”